Senin, 10 Oktober 2011

How to Move a Piano (Part One)

Any good tradesman knows that he will indeed end up blaming his tools if he does not have the correct equipment. This is the place to start, but also the place to end for many people, since the cost of obtaining the right tools will outweigh the cost of hiring a professional mover for 'one off' moves.

1) A piano trolley with good sized wheels. Often professionals use pneumatic wheels which cope with uneven surfaces better. Furniture skates designed for indoor use can be useless, even disastrous for outside use, since their small wheels catch on and exaggerate any deformity on the ground. For example, they might sink into a gravel drive, hit a raised pavement slab, and most likely, make a mountain out of the smallest step.

2) Piano transit cover: Its main use is for storing a piano on a van to prevent other items damaging it. When actually manoeuvring a piano, heavy quilting can be a hindrance, since grip and vision may be impaired. However, a cover is important if you are moving a piano through a narrow passage between outside brick walls. This is because a small deformity in the path can result in significant movement at the top of the piano (which is further exaggerated by small unsuitable wheels on your trolley).

3) Boards, ramps, blocks and chocks for steps. These are items acquired over time, by begging and borrowing and raiding builder's skips, until you have a wide choice to suit any obstacle. If you are moving a piano between houses, it will be a rare occasion when there are no steps at either end, and strong boards can make light work of these.
The use of boards is a subject on its own; but briefly, chocks (smaller pieces of wood)
Should be placed underneath the middle of your board to prevent excessive bending, and used to prevent your board lying on vulnerable doorway structures. Modern sliding doors often have aluminium or plastic base grooves. These can be damaged by the weight of a piano; chocks or blocks together with boards should therefore be placed to avoid contact if you are not confident you can tilt the wheels over them.

4) Blankets, cardboard and plastic sheet: These are used for wrapping panels, protecting floors and manoeuvring pianos. There are three pieces of the piano you should remove and wrap in blankets: The desk (the panel where the music sits), the key cover, and the bottom panel. Although this may not always be necessary, there is a good reason to do it. If your piano is old you cannot necessarily trust the dowels and fixings to be either present or in good order. The desk and bottom panel may fall off at the slightest movement. if nothing else, you will in the process of removing them, inspect their fixings. In more testing moving operations which involve turning the piano on its side, these three pieces must be removed.
Smooth, heavy duty, clear plastic sheet can be folded to double or quadruple its thickness. It is slippery and protective, and can facilitate controlled movement.
Old cardboard can be used for protecting floors, and especially for protecting overhanging piano lids when the piano needs to be turned and dragged through and round a doorway.

5) Mover's Ties and heavy duty ratchet straps: Take care to exert only minimum pressure with the ratchet. It is the thickness and strength of the strap which is important so you can hold it well and trust it. Ratchet straps are important for the inexpert mover because you can trust their tension. The danger is that a heavy hand could damage the piano case. The advice is to ratchet up with one finger, and like the belt on your pants, you have enough tension when you can still slip a finger or two between the strap and the piano. NEVER use a strap on a piano without a blanket between it and the piano.
Conversely, insufficient tension will allow movement which could become exaggerated. The piano could ultimately work loose of its securings.

6) Screw drivers, pliers, and a soft faced mallet. Very often no tools at all will be needed for moving upright pianos. Grand pianos will always require some tools, to remove the legs, lyre, lid and lid hinges (in the USA they tend to use a flat skid board which does not require the lid to be removed. In Europe a shoe is used which does).
There are many situations in which manoeuvring an upright piano around corners requires the removal of the casters. Actually casters are another big subject: They are often seized, and should only be used for rolling a piano the last half inch back against a wall, should be placed on caster cups to avoid damage to the floor, and should never be used in the relocation of a piano.

7) Piano shoes and skids. These tools are a serious financial commitment. Their purpose is to provide a sacrificial surface against which to manoeuvre the piano; either onto a trolley, or up steps or along a board. As with all tools, cheap versions are available and should be avoided, since a tool which will betray you is a liability of immeasurable cost.
You can find more information about piano moving (including grand piano moving) on the piano moving tips pages. The author's website offers a directory of services and moving advice for students and all small movers.

  Article Source: here

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